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  • Writer's pictureRobert Gidley

Laid low by Laidlaw

July 25, 2022 (Mon)

Mostly driving and some eating.

8:00 am Abbotsford, BC

Since this is a Harvey adventure, our first stop this morning is for gasoline! (The propane levels are holding up nicely, probably because we have zero need for heat…)

For those of you interested in fuel prices in foreign lands (and Gini thinks that will be a lot of folks), we paid $1.829 per liter in Canadian. What is that in real money/volume? Um… 3.78 liters per gallon means $6.92 Canadian per gallon (but not an Imperial gallon) times 78 cents Canadian per real dollar means, carry the two…

We paid $5.38 per gallon!

Higher than at Costco ($4.79) but about right for your corner gas station. One thing we’ve noticed is that the price seems to be pretty steadily in the $1.80’s. Probably because of the metric system. It’s always the fault of the metric system.

8:15 am Abbotsford, BC (still)

One advantage to Harvey is that if you are feeling indolent, you don’t have to get out of bed to go places. This morning, it’s Gini who’s enjoying some extra lounge time while (whilst?) we head over to Starbucks (not only do they have Starbucks in Canada, there are three of them within two miles of our location!).

This time we discover that you don’t actually need to go into the Starbucks to benefit from their Wi-Fi signal (although we do, of course, benefit from their chocolate croissants). Which means continued indolence for some members of our party.

Plus, there’s a “grocery store” here, too. Although it’s labeled a “Co-op,” which seems to mean, “not a very good selection of produce.” No blueberries. No yams, And, here in the raspberry capital of Canada, not a raspberry to be found, although we could give a few raspberries…

The strip mall where we stopped. We didn’t recognize a single store.

10:30 Abbotsford, BC

We’re off! And headed down Canadian Highway #1 (which every once in a while has an advertisement for itself along the lines of “There’s a reason we’re Number 1!”).

Here’s just a sampling of what we saw: Trees. Mountains. Rivers. Tunnels (through mountains).

11:45 am Laidlaw, BC

Over a century ago, Robert’s grandmother left Scotland and came to America and married a Gidley. Her last name was Laidlaw. By the time Robert was born, his parents had run short of regular middle names (his older brothers got “Ross” and “Frank”) and so Robert got his grandmother’s middle name.

Which is mostly annoying as many people don’t get it right. Even his college transcripts refer to him as “Robert Laidlow Gidley.”

But ho—there’s an entire town named Laidlaw?? Lay in a course for Laidlaw, Mr. Sulu!

Should you ever be interested in visiting the “town” of Laidlaw, we can save you some gas and time. It consists, in its entirety, of six (6) toy electric cars sitting in front of a house.

The fabulous town of Laidlaw. We were laid low.

12:30 pm, Hope, BC

But there is some Hope! (nyuk, nyuk)

We stop at the visitor center for Hope, BC,, and discover an amazing fact: the movie First Blood, where we meet John Rambo, a PTSD-stricken head case was filmed in Hope! It’s supposedly set in Oregon and we look around and squint and with the right camera angles this could be Oregon. (Rambo was played by Sylvester Stallone, and his shirt came off a lot in the movie.)

Anyway, the town of Hope is very proud of this and the Visitor Center has a variety of T-shirts for sale and in the first week of October 2022 (this very year!) they’re going to have a celebration of the 40th anniversary of when it got filmed! No word on whether or not Stallone will appear and we didn’t stick around to ask because the Information Person was declaiming at length about the recent mayoral election and it wasn’t air-conditioned.


Outside of the visitor center is a wooden carving that appears to be Abraham Lincoln having a good old time, but probably isn’t

1:30 pm North of Boston Bar, BC

We pull into our home for the evening, the Canyon Alpine RV park, which is nice and shady and has lots and lots of electricity to run our A/C because it’s ninety-freaking-degrees outside. And lots of spaces, so we get our choice of location.

We thought when we departed that we’d be having a good old laugh at all the folks back home sweltering in the 90 degree heat wave. “We’re going north! It’ll be cooler!” Turns out that we’re only a couple of miles from Lytton, where the highest temperature ever in Canada was recorded (121.3 degrees in June 2021). And no one was surprised.

It does explain why there’s lots of spaces in this RV park—not the High Season for tourism…

(Gini wants to say: A few days after the high temperature in Lytton, the town and surrounding areas burned to the ground. It’s now off-limits so we can’t have a closer look.)

By the numbers

Numbers tell the story.

Miles traveled so far: 236

Estimated Percentage of total road miles: 7%

Days so far: 2 days

Estimated Percentage of total road days: 6%

Gini & Robert

Harvey Staff

P.S. We continued to receive alerts on our phones all day about the guy with the gun in Langley. The last screaming alert (about 5:00 pm) was: “Okay, everything’s under control. Resume your regular activities.”

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